Decide for Europe
This role-playing game may enable young people to understand the decision-making process at European level. In the year of the European elections, this role-play game is intended to encourage classes to learn how to debate and also understand how the European institutions work.
Decision-making at European Union level involves various European institutions, in particular:
• the European Commission (EC)
• the European Parliament (EP)
• the Council of the European Union.
In general, it is the European Commission that proposes new legislation, but it is the Council and Parliament that pass the laws. In some cases, the Council can act alone. Other institutions also have roles to play. The main forms of EU law are directives and regulations. The rules and procedures for EU decision-making are laid down in the treaties. Every proposal for a new European law is based on a specific treaty article, referred to as the ‘legal basis’ of the proposal. This determines which legislative procedure must be followed. The three main procedures are ‘consultation’, ‘assent’ and ‘co-decision’.
This is the procedure now used for most EU law-making. In the codecision procedure, Parliament does not merely give its opinion: it shares legislative power equally with the Council. More
The assent procedure means that the Council has to obtain the European Parliament's assent before certain very important decisions are taken. More
The consultation procedure is used in areas such as agriculture, taxation and competition. Based on a proposal from the Commission, the Council consults Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions. More
The 27 Commissioners, one from each Member State, are appointed by the Member States and by the President of the European Commission. Each Commissioner has his own field of responsibility. Together they constitute a team: when one of them presents a proposal, all 27 take part to the decision. Play!
Council of the European Union
The Council is the main decision-making body of the European Union. It represents the Member States and its meetings are attended by one Minister from each of the national governments, according to the agenda. Decisions in the Council are taken by vote: the bigger the country’s population is, the more votes it has. Nevertheless, votes are weighted in favour of the less populous countries. Play!
The European Parliament is the only directly-elected institution of the European Union. Together with the Council, it forms the bicameral legislative branch of the Union’s institutions. Play!
Since the information related to the European Institutions is constantly updated, you may want to have a look at the following pages to be aware of the latest changes:
Members of the Barroso Commission
The European Commission at work
The European Parliament
The Council of the European Union